Doctor offers women’s health science, approved by church, to St. Gianna Clinic

By Amanda Lauer | For The Compass | September 28, 2016

GREEN BAY — NaPro (Natural Procreative) Technology is a fairly new women’s health science that monitors and maintains a woman’s reproductive and gynecological health. In the United States there are only about 19 fellowship-trained surgeons who can perform medical and surgical NaPro procedures. Until recently, there weren’t any in Wisconsin. This month, Dr. Melissa Weidert began seeing patients at St. Gianna Clinic, 1727 Shawano Ave.

Weidert, a Catholic and native of Hartland, Wis., attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She completed the St. John Paul the Great Fellowship in Medical and Surgical NaProTechnology at Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Neb.

Dr. Melissa Weidert completed the St. John Paul the Great Fellowship in Medical and Surgical NaProTechnology at Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Neb. She brings her NaPro practice to Green Bay this month. (Amanda Lauer | For The Compass)
Dr. Melissa Weidert completed the St. John Paul the Great Fellowship in Medical and Surgical NaProTechnology at Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha, Neb. She brings her NaPro practice to Green Bay this month. (Amanda Lauer | For The Compass)

“I heard about the fellowship at Pope Paul VI Institute when I was in college when one of my friends went there for treatment of endometriosis,” said Weidert. “I started to look more into that because it offers skills and medical and surgical treatments that you don’t learn in residency to treat a lot of gynecological issues.”

NaPro is the first system to network family planning with reproductive and gynecologic health monitoring and maintenance. This technology is approved by the Catholic Church and is used to diagnose and treat women’s health issues including PMS, infertility, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, abnormal bleeding, polycystic ovarian disease, repetitive miscarriage, postpartum depression and hormonal abnormalities.

The purpose of NaPro is to identify the underlying medical condition and then treat that condition using medical or surgical techniques, noted Weidert. “A lot of times in mainstream OB/Gyn care they will just treat symptoms with maybe birth control pills, shots or other medications without really knowing why the patient has those symptoms.”

St. Gianna Clinic provides primary care for adults, children and families. Weidert will offer OB/Gyn and NaPro services for patients from teenagers through women who are post-menopausal. “A lot of people are drawn to (NaPro) as patients because they get an explanation why they’re having these symptoms and get proper treatment that will take care of the underlying condition,” said Weidert. “We’re able to help people solve their problems and also we’re able to improve their health and well-being. They may not realize how much those problems were really impacting their life.”

She said the clinic takes care of women who are having difficulty getting pregnant, too.

“I would say 85 percent of those patients have endometriosis — most of the time that is missed as a diagnosis with mainstream doctors,” said Weidert.

The values St. Gianna Clinic espouses align with Weidert’s. “Following Catholic Church teachings I won’t be prescribing any kind of birth control pills, I don’t perform any tubal ligations or sterilization procedures, I don’t refer people for abortions, I also wouldn’t refer people for in vitro fertilization or insemination procedures,” she said.

Natural Family Planning focusing on the Creighton Model will be an integral part of Weidert’s practice.

Learning how the female body operates is empowering for women in general but it’s a valuable resource in a marriage. “As a couple learning this model it can improve communication, it’s natural, you can be saving money that you’d be spending on medications, and obviously there’s no risk to it because you’re not introducing chemicals into your body. For people who take NFP classes, the divorce rate is almost completely gone because of the skills the method fosters,” Weidert noted.

Erin McCole Cupp, 43, who belongs to St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown, Penn., saw excellent results when she was introduced to NaPro.

“I have a life-long history of irregular and painful cycles. It took five years to conceive our first time,” she said. “We sought out a NaPro medical practice because theirs is the only approach that treats infertility like a medical condition to be healed rather than an obstacle to sneak around.”

She said that before NaPro, “we’d gone to five different practitioners (reproductive and regular endocrinologists) who just couldn’t figure out why we weren’t pregnant. One … just threw medication at us. When we finally found a NaPro surgeon, we found not just answers but relief and healing. He removed extensive endometriosis, and after trying to get pregnant again for six years, we conceived six weeks after surgery,” said Cupp.

Having a doctor with the certifications and training that Weidert has in northeast Wisconsin should increase awareness of the Creighton Model and NaPro in the community and draw people to learn about this method and the science behind it, said Weidert.

“I feel our society really needs that — there’s just a lot of death around us and a lot of sadness and fear. There are ways we’re trying to bring this culture of life back in society. If families are looking into these Catholic teachings, asking questions, learning about them, then they’re actually able to embrace those, internalize them, they’re able to guide their children and other members of their family in the same manner. Generally if we focus on the culture of life and families first, it tends to permeate other areas of society.”

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